In 2009, I was lucky and flattered enough to be invited to speak at Freedom to Connect, the telecom policy organised in Washington DC by David Isenberg. David's events are always wonderful, thought propoking and very networking friendly, but this year's Freedom to Connect (more familiarly known as F2C) looks to be a killer one. It comes at a very appropriate time when the struggle around network neutrality has moved beyond parliaments and courts into the realm of devious circumvention mechanisms and the fragmentation of internet ecosystems (see Doc Searl's excellent post on the topic yesterday.)
I don't know if I'll be able to attend. May is a complicated time for me with lots of international travels, and it's unclear wether I'll be able to free myself without encurring the wrath of my spouse and children. If I can make it though, I will, and so should you. I will let David speak of the program in his own words:
People of the Internet,
I'm delighted to announce that F2C: Freedom to Connect will occur on May 21 and 22, 2012, in the Washington, DC area, see http://freedom-to-connect.net for details.
F2C: Freedom to Connect is devoted to preserving and celebrating the essential properties of the Internet, which is a success today because it is stupid, abundant and simple. In other words, the Internet's neutrality, its openness to rapidly developing technologies and bottom-up innovation, and its publicly specified layered architecture are the reasons it has succeeded where others (e.g., ISDN, Interactive TV) have failed.
The Freedom to Connect is about an Internet that supports democracy rather than erodes it. It is held in Washington, DC because the Internet's issues and its activists are under-represented in federal policy circles. We can't afford slick lobbyists and expensive PR campaigns. F2C: Freedom to Connect is designed to advocate for innovation, for creativity, for expression, for self-determination, from the bottom up.
Speakers at this year's F2C: Freedom to Connect include: Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer, Internet Evangelist at Google, Cory Doctorow, science fiction author, co-founder BoingBoing, Rebecca MacKinnon, author, 'Consent of the Networked' and co-founder, Global Voices, Eben Moglen, Software Freedom Law Center, and many others, details at http://freedom-to-connect.net.
As in previous years, F2C: Freedom to Connect will feature great music, good food, and an awesome audience. Early bird registration is in effect through March 15.
I should point out, because these things always come up, that I'm not getting paid, bribed, lobbyed or otherwise influenced to recommend this event to you: it really is a must attend if open internet ecosystems and their preservation matter to you.